REI lays off 167 at HQ, cites ‘increasing uncertainty’

Outdoor company REI has laid off more than 100 people from its headquarters in and around Seattle, citing "increasing uncertainty" and a need to be profitable.

President and CEO Eric Artz said in a letter to employees on Tuesday that 167 people lost their jobs, according to a letter sent to employees.

Artz said the layoffs affected 8% of the co-op’s headquarters workforce and less than 1% of its total head count. REI shifted to remote work in 2020 and has offices in Issaquah, Seattle and Sumner.

"We have clear goals for the future of the co-op and are confident in our long-term strategies," Artz wrote. "But in the face of increasing uncertainty, we need to sharpen our focus on the most critical investments and areas of work to best serve our members and grow the co-op over the long term."

In that vein, REI’s "organizational changes," include reducing head count and reorganizing and combining several divisions.

REI does not have additional plans for more layoffs, according to Artz.

In the past year and a half, REI has expanded its leadership team, adding new roles including chief supply chain officer and chief commercial officer. In 2021, the co-op invested $128.9 million in employee profit-sharing, retirement and performance incentives, according to REI’s annual report.

People impacted by the job cuts Tuesday will receive severance packages.

In 2021, the most recent financial data available, REI reported $3.7 billion in revenue, up 36% from the year before, and net income of $97.7 million.